Chapter 6: Return to work

Return to work refers to assisting injured workers in staying at or getting back to work. The aim of the return to work/rehabilitation provisions in legislation is to provide for the safe and durable return to work of the injured worker as early as possible with regard to the worker’s injury.

The return to work of an injured worker involves the employer and the injured worker. Depending on the legislation in each jurisdiction, and the severity of the injury, it may also involve workplace rehabilitation coordinators, workplace rehabilitation providers, medical and other health professionals, and the insurer.

Some workers’ compensation authorities operate injured worker placement incentive schemes to encourage employers to employ workers who have had an injury and are not able to return to work with their pre-injury employer.

A successful return to work is usually the result of four main factors: early intervention, an effective workplace-based rehabilitation program, effective claims management and cooperation, collaboration and consultation between stakeholders.

Tables contained in this section cover the following topics:

6.1 Guidance material and sections of the Acts or regulations referring to return to work or rehabilitation

6.2 Responsibilities of employers in relation to return to work:

  • workplace rehabilitation/return to work programs or policies
  • injured worker return to work plans
  • the provision of suitable duties/employment, and
  • other requirements of employers.

6.3 Responsibilities of workers in relation to return to work

6.4 Injured worker placements incentive schemes operated by jurisdictional workers’ compensation authorities

6.5 Responsibilities of the workers’ compensation authorities or insurers

6.6 Functions and training of workplace rehabilitation coordinators

6.7 Workplace rehabilitation providers:

  • responsibilities, and
  • qualifications and fee structure.